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January 25, 2010

Meet the presidents as three of Virginia’s native sons tell the story of the birth of a nation during CW's Presidents Day Weekend Feb. 13-14

Colonial Williamsburg’s Presidents Day Weekend Feb. 13-14 salutes three native Virginians – George Washington, Thomas Jefferson and James Madison – and their contributions to Williamsburg and the nation. Meet these great men and their contemporaries through public audiences. Recognize the role of chief executive and the people who have served in the office during a Fife and Drum salute. Enjoy a demonstration of soldiers on horseback. Toast the first president with music from his era.

Saturday, Feb. 13

  • The Great Men in Williamsburg, 10-11:40 a.m., Capitol. How were Washington, Jefferson and Madison shaped by their experiences in Williamsburg? Gen. Washington talks about his tenure as a burgess from 1759-1774. Gov. Jefferson speaks of his early experiences as a lawyer in the General Court before the American Revolution and about his efforts to rewrite the laws of Virginia as he became governor. Madison discusses his role in the drafting of the Virginia Declaration of Rights and the successful adoption of Jefferson’s Statute for Religious Freedom. A Colonial Williamsburg admission pass gains entry into this program.
  • A Public Audience with the First President, George Washington, 1 p.m., Kimball Theatre. Washington reflects on his long career in public service and discusses his years in the House of Burgesses, the American Revolution, serving as commander-in-chief of American forces in the War for Independence and his leadership in drafting the Constitution that led to his election as first president of the United States. This program requires a free reservation with a Colonial Williamsburg admission pass.
  • From a Virginia Governor, 2-2:45 p.m., DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum. Retiring Gov. Patrick Henry discusses the friendships and political relations he has had over the years with Gen. Washington and Thomas Jefferson. A Colonial Williamsburg admission pass or museum ticket allows guests to enjoy this program.
  • To Washington’s Health, 7 and 8:30 p.m., Capitol. Using both British and American sources from George Washington’s lifetime, the Virginia Company performs a variety of popular music of the era, including period drinking songs, ballads, dance music and toasts to Washington’s health. This evening program requires a separate ticket of $12 for adults and children ages 6-17 and $6 for children under 6.

    Sunday, Feb. 14

  • Dragoons Demonstration, 1 p.m., Market Square. A detachment of the First Continental Light Dragoons is inspected by an officer of Gen. Washington’s staff. Watch as the dragoons demonstrate their horsemanship. No ticket is required for this program.
  • The Duties of the President’s Wife, 1:30 p.m., DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum. When Washington was elected president, no one gave thought to what Martha Washington would do while he served his country. Mrs. Washington has been called upon to define a role that has served as a model down through the centuries. Join Mrs. Washington in the spring of 1789 and discuss with the first First Lady her duties and help her decide what role she will play. A Colonial Williamsburg admission pass or museum ticket allows guests to enjoy this program.
  • Letters Between Friends, Governor’s Palace East Advance Building. Washington, Jefferson and Madison all had a role in the creation and ratification of the U.S. Constitution. They discuss their correspondence concerning the Constitution. Meet Washington at noon and 12:20 p.m., Jefferson at 12:40 and 1 p.m. and Madison at 1:20 and 1:40 p.m. This program requires a free reservation with a Colonial Williamsburg admission pass.
  • Salute to the Presidents, 4 p.m., behind the Courthouse. Colonial Williamsburg’s Founding Fathers, military programs staff and the Fifes and Drums celebrate the institution of the presidency and the citizens who have served in the office over the centuries. No ticket is required for this program.
  • An Evening with the Presidents, 7:30 p.m., Kimball Theatre. Join Presidents Washington, Jefferson and Madison in a discussion about the chief executive’s challenge in balancing the will of the people with the need to advance individual presidential policies. A separate ticket of $12 for adults and children ages 6-17 and $6 for children under 6 is required.
  • Palace Concert: From Coronation to Inauguration, 7:30 and 9 p.m., Governor’s Palace. Enjoy an elegant evening of music with firsthand accounts of the coronation of George III and the inauguration of George Washington performed by Governor’s Musick. A separate ticket of $12 for adults and children ages 6-17 and $6 for children under 6 is required.

    Programs and exhibitions at The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation’s DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum are supported by the DeWitt Wallace Endowment Fund.

    Established in 1926, the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation is the not-for-profit educational institution that preserves and operates the restored 18th-century Revolutionary capital of Virginia as a town-sized living history museum, telling the inspirational stories of our nation’s founding men and women. Williamsburg is located in Virginia’s Tidewater region, 20 minutes from Newport News, within an hour’s drive of Richmond and Norfolk, and 150 miles south of Washington, D.C., off Interstate 64. For more information about Colonial Williamsburg, call 1-800-HISTORY or visit Colonial Williamsburg’s Web site at www.history.org.

    Media Contact:
    Penna Rogers
    (757) 220-7121



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